Why I’m Glad God Didn’t Answer My Prayer & Book Winner Announced
Sometimes I don’t understand why God responds to my prayers the way He does. I’ve got a feeling I’m not alone.
A week before our son’s wedding on Sunday we checked the weather report: High of 106. No joke. 1. 0. 6.
Not a great report for what we hoped would be a picturesque outdoor wedding.
Of course we all started praying like mad. Me. JP. Our son, Taylor. Becca, the bride. The bride’s parents, Chuck and Lori. The grandparents. Pretty much everyone. As it turns out, Taylor had been praying specifically for the weather since he and Becca got engaged back in December.
“Sometimes I just don’t get why God doesn’t answer my prayers”, Taylor confessed. “I can trust His plan when He doesn’t say ‘yes’ to the big stuff; I know He’s got a better plan, one I can’t see. But when God says ‘no’ to the small stuff that’s important to me, I get confused.”
I love his honesty. Mostly because it’s something all praying people grapple with at some point, especially in light of Jesus’ words found in Matthew 17:20: “if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”
Let me tell you, I prayed for God to postpone the heat wave—even just a day—with as much sincerity and faith as I knew how. I just knew God would move the mountain. I believed in a miracle.
The wedding day came. The high wasn’t 106. It was 110. I kid you not.
What in the world? Hadn’t I prayed in faith? Hadn’t I prayed according to scripture? Then why did the temperature go UP, rather than down?
I had no idea.
Despite the heat, the wedding was absolutely beautiful.
Becca and Taylor beamed the entire day (and not from sweat!). As Taylor walked me down the aisle to be seated I was struck by the look of utter joy and excitement on our guests’ faces. The smiles reached ear to ear.
They didn’t care about the heat.
They cared about them.
I was so humbled by the whole thing I could have cried the kind of cry that makes a gal wonder why she put on makeup in the first place.
On Monday morning I woke early and slipped away to a beautiful little spot at our hotel to talk with God. Before JP woke up. Before the other guests at the hotel stirred.
All was still. Utterly quiet
Then God whispered. And suddenly I understood why He hadn’t chosen to change the weather.
“What did you really want? Did you want the day to be filled with love? Did you want Me to be honored? For Taylor and Becca to be filled with overflowing joy? For people to see firsthand that marriage is about choosing joy even when things don’t go the way you hope?
Or did you just want the weather to be nice?
I asked God for one thing; He gave me a whole lot more. I thought the day would be perfect if the weather was perfect. But experiencing joy is never about perfect circumstances; it’s about love in the midst of imperfect ones. Days are wonderful when attitudes are grateful.
God gave us the day we longed for, even if He didn’t give us the thing we prayed for.
I don’t know what “thing” you’ve been praying for recently. Or if God has said “no” to that thing. I don’t know if you’ve wrestled with the “why’s”. I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I never will. But I do know this: God often gives us what we really want or really need, even if it’s not what we think we want or think we need.
I so easily get bogged down by the details of life and forget the big picture. My vision of what’s important—the things in life I really want—gets blurred. Sometimes God has to open my eyes by not giving me what I ask for and giving me what I need.
I asked God to move the mountain. I thought the weather was the mountain. It turns out the mountain was me.
Lord, help me pray in faith, believing that you can and do move mountains. Help me realize that sometimes the biggest mountain is my perspective and my attitude. Thank you that your Word is truer than anything I see or feel in the moment. Help me be still long enough to hear you whisper the answer to my deepest questions and biggest confusion, especially when it relates to unanswered prayer. Thank you for being bigger than any mountain I face today. Amen.
And now for the book give away winner….Congratulations Celine Ankrum, you’re the lucky winner!
More than a Bible teacher, Donna is a self-described Bible explainer. A colorful storyteller who combines Biblical truth with real-life anecdotes, her messages not only help listeners understand God’s Word, but most important, grasp how to live it out in real life.